Fact Check

Body Wars Death

Did a young girl die on EPCOT's 'Body Wars' attraction?

Published May 19, 1997


Claim:   A four-year-old girl died while riding the Body Wars attraction at EPCOT.

Status:   True.

Origins:   Four-year-old

Body Wars

Linda Elaine Baker from Galveston, Texas, slumped over in her seat, unconscious, three minutes into riding the Body Wars attraction in EPCOT's Wonders of Life pavilion on 16 May 1995. A cast member monitoring the attraction stopped the ride and summoned paramedics while two nurses who were also riding Body Wars performed CPR, but Linda was pronounced dead after being airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Although an autopsy was unable to provide conclusive evidence for the cause of death, samples of Linda's heart tissues analyzed by medical laboratories indicated that she had probably died from a congenital heart condition known as cardiac conduction defect, which causes disturbances in the electrical signals that regulate the heart's beating. There was no evidence that the motion of the ride had triggered or exacerbated this condition.

Guests with medical conditions are warned against riding Body Wars (and all other attractions featuring sudden or violent motions), but Mrs. Baker told investigators that her daughter had no history of health problems. However, Baker's relatives said that the girl did have a heart ailment, and Linda was apparently being treated at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for reasons undisclosed by her doctors.

Last updated:   21 August 2007

  Sources Sources:

    Moran, Kevin.   "Disney World Death Puzzles Authorities."

    The Houston Chronicle.   18 May 1995.

    The Orlando Sentinel.   "Death of Child at EPCOT."

    18 July 1995   (p. C3).

    The Orlando Sentinel.   "Death on 'Body Wars.'"

    18 August 1995   (p. D3).

    St. Petersburg Times.   "Mother-Daughter Outing at EPCOT Turns Tragic."

    18 May 1995   (p. B1).

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